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Australian Bananas Costing Hundreds
June 18, 2006 5:01 PM   Subscribe

$200 Bananas Thanks to Cyclone Larry, Australian bananas are getting almost expensive as Japanese melons.
posted by matkline (23 comments total)

 
I have to wonder, WHY are there enough people out there willing to pay so much for bananas that the market can bear those prices? I don't know about anyone else, but I see bananas at $3/pound instead of 60 cents and I say "I'll get my potassium in pill form."
posted by Dipsomaniac at 5:10 PM on June 18, 2006


I think you're missing an NSFW tag.
posted by rafter at 5:12 PM on June 18, 2006


It has become rather sad. The other day someone at work brought a banana in and it became a gossip item, especially when we found out she only paid $6.99 a kilo (it's $12.99 a kilo most places).
posted by andraste at 5:14 PM on June 18, 2006


Oh, well.
posted by rob511 at 5:30 PM on June 18, 2006


This is rubbish. Yet another example of the corrupt power that Nationals voters in marginal seats have over the rest of us. We baled out the sugar industry to the tune of $600 Million only a few short years ago (and we'll have to do it again soon), these protected cottage industry types want to rip off australian consumers for ever and ever, while tehre are plenty of poor brown skinned people around the world growing delicious bananas cheaply.
posted by wilful at 5:53 PM on June 18, 2006


The $200 "bunch" of bananas really refers to a banana stalk of bananas which is technically called a "bunch". What most people call a "bunch" is really a "hand" or a subpart of a "hand". source:
... each bunch producing about 15 "hands" or rows. Each hand has about 20 bananas while each bunch will yield about 200 "fingers" or bananas. An average bunch of bananas can weigh between 80 and 125 pounds (35 to 50 kilograms).
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 6:04 PM on June 18, 2006


That's a helpful clarification, MSN, but I'm left wondering. Evidently, "about 15" times "about twenty" equals "about 200." That's interesting math.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:21 PM on June 18, 2006


Point is, individual bananas can cost $3 these days. Which is a bit absurd.
posted by wilful at 6:29 PM on June 18, 2006


I have been able to get some (little) bananas at $4 a kilo (about $US1.36 a pound) from the wholesale market. My six month old son insists on mashed banana at any price.
posted by bystander at 6:34 PM on June 18, 2006


I can't believe you didn't work the phrase "banana rustlers" into this post. You're clearly a better man than I.
posted by brundlefly at 6:35 PM on June 18, 2006


Am I a bad person because all I can think of is the scene in Les Patterson Saves the World where Barry Humphries goes to pay some third-world type, proudly proclaiming, "Australian dollars!" and the guy spits and asks him if he has any Mexican currency?

Having said that, US$2.20 per individual banana, while not anywhere near as sexy a headline, is still no fun.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 7:51 PM on June 18, 2006


US 2.20 a banana? The regular ones here are 69c a lb. Organic is about a buck a pound. And this is the midwest where we're damn lucky to get edible produce at all.
posted by pieoverdone at 7:53 PM on June 18, 2006


I scored some for $4 a kilo last week. Mind you, this was at the Rapid Creek Market, here in Darwin. We grow bananas here in Darwin, but most of them go to Perth, apparently - these ones I bought were bananas grown by family farmer. This compares to $12+ in Woolworths.
posted by Jimbob at 8:00 PM on June 18, 2006


It's amazing how Sydneysiders love to talk about whatever is expensive. We are notorious for talking about real estate, which is shockingly expensive here in Sydney. Now it honestly seems everyone is talking bananas.

That, and my friend won't stop making the damn barium plus 2 sodium joke.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 9:00 PM on June 18, 2006


It's not just melons.
posted by tellurian at 10:07 PM on June 18, 2006


49 cents a pound in the store here. i think what i need to do is load up as many of these fruits as i can and make a run down under. my forth coming book "banana boat fortune"
posted by nola at 4:44 AM on June 19, 2006


oh wait , i guess i should read the whole post before i buy that boat.
posted by nola at 4:50 AM on June 19, 2006


Those Aussies still buying bananas... Why? Why are you still buying bananas? I'm not having a dig at you, I'm curious. Why not just wait until the crops recover? I can understand buying overpriced petrol, but one could ditch bananas and not be even slightly worse off.

I mean, I like a sliced banana in my morning cereal, but not at $3.00 each.
posted by Ritchie at 5:57 AM on June 19, 2006


Ritchie, I wondered just like you did - how high will the price go before the demand disappears? At what point will people decide bananas are too dear and switch to apples or somesuch?
posted by raedyn at 3:48 PM on June 19, 2006


I paid a little over AUS$10 for seven mediocre bananas last night. Why? One banana, with 500ml of 1% milk, a tablespoon of wheatgerm, a couple of teaspoons of honey and a tray of ice makes two pints of very filling smoothy (one for each of us). We have them for a low fat, low sugar, reasonably low calorie (around 200), high fibre nutritious dessert. I figured 70c each for dessert isn't that expensive - it's about what I pay when I make a smoothy with forzen berries.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:23 AM on June 20, 2006


Your bananas last 7 days? Huh. Mine are squishy and fragrant after 4. How do you store them?
posted by Ritchie at 5:50 AM on June 20, 2006


7 days? Huh. Mine are squishy and fragrant after 4.

The "myth" of not refridgerating bananas comes from Chiquita's 1944 song
I'm Chiquita banana and I've come to say ... bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator - So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator."
The reason for this message was that
Back in 1944 when the "Chiquita Banana" jingle lyrics were written, consumers would typically bring home green bananas and put them in the refrigerator which kept them from ripening properly.
So yes you can cool your bananas, but I don't because I have a childhood phobia about this.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 9:56 PM on June 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Australian bananas are getting almost expensive as Japanese melons.

That should probably say "as Japanese melons sold in exclusive, ridiculously expensive department stores". Saw some pretty decent melons down the road (in Kanagawa) for about 900 yen today.

Maybe people are buying bananas because they really like 'em? Also should they just abandon the banana growers who have suffered from a natural disaster by letting the only bananas they have to offer go to waste instead of paying a few extra bucks for them?
posted by gomichild at 8:26 AM on June 22, 2006


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